Object of Desire: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF ED VR

April 27, 2015

By Greg Scoblete

Nikon has achieved a rather dramatic reduction in both the size and weight of its updated 300mm F/4 full frame (F-mount) lens. Thanks to the use of Phase Fresnel optics—a first for the company’s DSLR lens line—the new Nikkor lens sheds a pound and a half of heft and 30 percent of the overall size from the original version. The Fresnel element, in conjunction with an ED glass element and Nikon’s Nano Crystal coating, works to keep chromatic aberration at bay. Beyond its slimmer exterior, the internals of this lens have gotten their own upgrade. Gone is the mechanical lever for controlling the diaphragm—in its place is an electro-magnetically controlled diaphragm that Nikon says operates more consistently when shooting at faster frame rates. The lens’ Vibration Reduction technology offers up to 4.5 stops of correction and features a sports mode, for keeping a subject in the viewfinder steady even as the camera jostles, as well as tripod detection. 
Price: $2,000